I bought a 1995 Chevrolet astro cargo when I was 17....I bought it for the simple reason as I was working for the Illinois Central Railway and turned mine into a camper van......I bought it new in 1995 and in 2018 I STILL OWN IT....I have 127,000 miles on it and its outlasted other familys Toyotas, Hondas and nissans.....these family members have been threw a dozen cars and my astro keeps going....Of course I do my own work and its never seen a mechanic....it only had warrenty work done when it was new.....I'm so happy with it I bought another 1995 from a catering company 3 years ago, it had 79,000 some of miles on it and was semi neglected, slowly but surly I'm making it into a reliable vehicle....I had 2 ford explorers, 2 Pontiac sunbirds and 2 jeep Cherokees....Nothing comes close to my astro.....im now 39 years old and I'm getting close to having my first astro rebuilt and restored by a professional....what I paid 21,000.00 cash for is now worth about 2,000-3,000.00 is soon going to get a make over for the original price.......LONG LIVE AMERICAN MADE=PRIDE IN THE USA.....lets not forget my 1969 and 1971 Mack R600 and 685 semi tractors, restored antiques....MADE IN AMERICA by a AMERICAN, one has a bit over 3,000,000 miles on it and still hauls corn for the family farm!
We bought this car new in 1995. We were skeptical and not sure about reliability and longevity. Consumer Reports always placed in their not recommended cars. My wife used to show Samoyed dogs and she needed a vehicle with lots of space. So we bought this van. It has not disappointed us at all. I have used synthetic oil since day one and have maintained it like clockwork. It has been scratched dented minor fender benders, etc. Now it is getting old, we are retired, and need a reliable new car to last us for the next few years. Hopefully it will find a reliable new home.
We bought the '95 in 2004 for $4000. It had A/C, AWD and seating for 8. We had just had our 4th child so needed something that could seat 6 so that threw out most of the cars from the equation. I loved this van but it started to cost money and working under the hood was a real pain due to the engine compartment being so small and the "dog house" in the interior having to be removed to work on anything. Mechanics automatically charge more to work on these types of vehicle since there is a lot of effort to gain access to the parts that need to be replaced. Luckily, I could do a lot of the work my self. For the 5 years we owned it, I put about $1000-1500 each year into it.
Lots of power, lots of room, cool even without A/C due to angle of windows, great hauling capacity and winter traction with AWD.
Excellent driving position.
Serious lack of convenience features.
Almost no console storage, it has ash trays for all the kids (not cup holders-what were they thinkging).
Only one sliding door, only driver and passenger windows that open other than a crack.
Abysmal gas mileage.
Poor handling on rough roads.
No room for feet for driver or passenger due to van configuration.